Top 5 Reasons a Baby Should be Seen by a Chiropractor
From the time a child is born through puberty is the most rapid rate of growth the human body experiences. Through all the milestones of childhood, chiropractic care for kids helps ensure healthy and aligned growth and can help prevent injury as the child gets older. But what about babies? Newborn babies experience trauma in the birthing process and chiropractic helps with faster healing and relieves some of the more common issues that plague many newborns.
NNC’s Dr. Kimberly Nelson, who is certified by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, recommends that a newborn baby be seen by a pediatric chiropractor in the first two weeks after birth.
“When I assess newborn babies, I am specifically looking for primitive reflexes that should be present at the newborn stage,” Dr. Nelson says. “Those reflexes indicate that the brain and nervous system are functioning how they should. I also perform a variety of orthopedic exams to assess the function of the musculoskeletal system.”
While a well-baby visit after birth is recommended, Dr. Nelson also sees babies for more acute or chronic conditions. Pediatric chiropractic stimulates the nervous system and can “unblock” pathways that may be clogged, or create new connections in the nervous system. Chiropractic for babies does not involve adjustments adults may be used to. Chiropractic care for babies is less about pain management and more about the health of the nervous system and proper function of the musculoskeletal system. Once these are in-line, it allows for optimal development.
Here are the top 5 conditions that Dr. Nelson treats with pediatric chiropractic care.
Colicy babies cry relentlessly and it can be incredibly difficult on both the baby and the parents. Colic is caused by abdominal pain or underdeveloped or underperforming gastrointestinal tract, and there are few resources for parents other than the sentiment that “they will grow out of it.” However chiropractic care for babies with colic has shown to relieve symptoms (and thus the crying) in as many as 94% of babies. By performing gental manipulations, Dr. Nelson stimulates the nerve flow to the small intestine and increases peristalsis – the wave-like motion of muscles in the gut that pushes liquid and gas through.
Torticollis causes the head to tilt down or to one side because of problems in the muscles of the neck. It is fairly common in newborns. The baby may have been cramped in the womb or was in an abnormal position, such as a breech. Sometimes torticollis may not present at birth and only becomes obvious once the baby gains more strength in their neck. Chiropractic for babies with torticollis works to gently adjust the cervical spine and massage the muscles in the neck to relieve the tilt and allow the neck to grow properly.
GERD is short for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. It causes acid reflux to back up into the esophagus. Babies with GERD often spit up a lot and are very fussy after eating because they are so uncomfortable. Through gentle manipulations of the spine and neck, the nervous system is stimulated and improves the control of the upper valve of the stomach, stopping the reflux.
Chiropractic care for babies can help improve latching. If the baby is experiencing latching issues, Dr. Nelson will gently adjust the spine for proper alignment and positioning when feeding, and she will check the cranial bones including the jaw to see if a correction is needed to get the proper suck and ease fatigue when feeding. When we remove nervous system interference, our bodies function better.
The birthing experience can be stressful on the baby’s body and nervous system, no matter if they take their journey through the vaginal canal or via cesarean. Dr. Nelson can stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system to allow the baby’s nervous system to calm and rest easier.